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How to Find Books
Middleton Library's collection of books about Louisiana History is seachable in the online catalog and via Discovery (a "one-stop shopping" service that searches the catalog, many databases and online resources that the LSU Libraries subscribe to, and the Hathi Trust Digital Library, a collection of 11 million digitized books from more than 50 major research libraries).

Most of the LSU Libraries' books about Louisiana history, including State Documents, are housed in Special Collections in Hill Memorial Library.  They range from rare, antiquarian titles to modern books, journals, and newspapers.  These, too, can be searched in the online catalog, but they cannot be taken out of the building.  To limit your search to Special Collections in the catalog, use the advanced search feature and select Hill Memorial Library under the library tab. If using Discovery, select "Special Collections" under "Location." This can be a good way of finding primary sources, since many of the books in Special Collections are first-hand accounts of historical events. Although the Special Collections shelving areas are not open to the public, you can browse virtually by finding a book relevant to the topic of your research and clicking "nearby items on shelf" in the catalog record.
How to Find Articles
The easiest and most efficient way to search for scholarly journal articles, essays, and introductory encyclopedia articles related to Louisiana History is to use Discovery.  This "one-stop shopping" service searches the catalog as well as many databases and online resources that the LSU Libraries subscribe to.  Use the advanced search to limit your search to scholarly journals.

You can also search individually through the following full-text article databases and indexes that Discovery searches. Click each link to learn more.

History Reference Center -- primarily reference books
America: History and Life -- more than 200 journals on U.S. and Canadian history
C19: Nineteenth Century Index -- full-text access to many 19th-century publications
JSTOR  -- includes more than 300 academic history journals
Project Muse -- 6,000 full-text History books and journals
Web of Knowledge -- includes the Arts & Humanities Citation Index
Ingenta -- 169 History publications, mostly journals
PAIS International -- for articles on world history; many not in English

Louisiana History, the state historical journal, is available electronically through JSTOR and America: History and Life from 1960 to the present. Paper copies of Publications of the Louisiana Historical Society (1895-1917) and Louisiana Historical Quarterly (1917-1973) are available in Middleton and Hill Memorial Libraries.

The Bayou State Periodical Index is an index of articles published in Louisiana periodicals from 1985 to 2006.

How to Find Archives / Manuscripts
The Louisiana & Lower Mississippi Valley Collections in LSU's Hill Memorial Library are one of the largest archives of material on Louisiana history in existence. Visit the Special Collections website for more information and advice on how to begin your search.

You can find archives / manuscript collections in other U.S. repositories by searching in the databases below:

Archive Finder
Archive Grid
WorldCat (use Advanced Search and limit type to Archival Materials)

Be aware that although they overlap to some extent, each database has material not in the others.  Also keep in mind that records are brief and do not list every single item or person referred to in the collection.  You may have to contact the archive and see if they have a more detailed finding aid or inventory. 

Also be aware that many institutions have not fully cataloged their holdings, and some repositories, especially small historical societies and private or business archives, have not reported their holdings to these databases.  For example, the holdings of the Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge do not show up in these databases.  Sometimes the best thing to do is a simple web search.

Repositories of Primary Sources is a directory of over 5,000 archives websites worldwide.

How to Find Louisiana Newspapers
More than 1,700 newspapers have been published in Louisiana since 1794.  Most of these are available on microfilm in Special Collections, with the exception of several large daily newspapers post 1900, which are stored in the Government Documents section of Middleton Library.  Check the online catalog before visiting.

Various indexes to newspaper titles are available on the Special Collections website.  Consult these if you do not know the name of the newspapers that were published in a particular town or parish. 

In addition to microfilm, the LSU Libraries provide access to a number of newspaper databases, which can be accessed by anyone with an LSU ID.

Access World News
Full text of more than 25 Louisiana newspapers, 1986-present.

America's Historical Newspapers
Full text of 29 Louisiana newspapers, 1810-1988, including the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

African American Newspapers
Full-text access to 11 black Louisiana newspapers, 1856-1985.

Chronicling America (no LSU ID required)
Full-text access to 70+ Louisiana newspapers, 1830-1923.  Includes historical information about each newspaper.

Louisiana Newspaper Project
Indexes to more than 1,700 newspapers published in Louisiana, 1794-present.  Many of the newspapers are available on microfilm in the LSU Libraries Special Collections.

HarpWeek (Harper's Weekly)
Full-text access to this important Civil War-era illustrated newspaper.

Illustrated Civil War Newspapers and Magazines
49 periodicals, including 15 campaign newspapers.

American Periodicals Series Online
Although it does not contain newspapers, this database provdides full-text access to several 19th-century Louisiana periodicals, including the influential DeBow's Review, that were, to some extent, sources of news.

Selected Digital Resources

Many books and archival materials related to the study of Louisiana history can be found in free digital libraries such as Google Books, the Hathi Trust Digital Library, the Library of Congress American Memory Project, and Making of America.

Hundreds of smaller libraries exist, including the Louisiana Digital Library, which is contributed to by institutions across the state. You might find Louisiana-related materials in other states' digital libraries.  For a partial list of these, see:  State Digital Resources: Memory Projects, Online Encyclopedias, Historical & Cultural Materials CollectionsAnother excellent list is 250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives.

The David Rumsey Map Collection has over 45,000 maps and images online, including many maps of of Louisiana.


History Vault
Digital access to the microfilm series Records of Antebellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War.

Digital Sanborn Maps
Detailed maps of most Louisiana towns and cities, late 1800s to early 1900s, produced for fire insurance purposes.

Selected Online Reference Sources
Dictionary of Louisiana Biography
Published by the Louisiana Historical Association.

KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana

Online, interactive encyclopedia. Includes video and recordings.

Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index

Database of obituaries and death notices published in New Orleans newspapers from 1804-1972 and biographical information published in older Louisiana collective biographies.

Louisiana Genealogical Materials
Includes links to electronic as well as print resources.

Louisiana Biographical Reference Works
List of works in the LSU Libraries Special Collections.

Louisiana Authors Index
Basic biographical information on Louisiana authors who died before about 1990.

Census Information
Printed copies of the United States Census are available in the Reference Collection on the first floor of Middleton Library, near the reference desk.  Additionally, a binder containing photocopies of population tables and selected aggregate data tables related to Louisiana, 1810-1920, is available at the Special Collections reference desk.

Electronic resources include:

American FactFinder
(U.S. Census Bureau)
Historical Census Browser
Statistical Abstract of the United States

Still need help?
If you are new to historical research, see the "Basic Tips for Beginners" on the general subject guide to History.

For one-on-one research assistance, please feel free to contact the History Subject Librarian, Michael TaylorYou can also call the Middleton Library Reference Desk at (225) 578-8875 or the Hill Memorial Library (Special Collections) Reference Desk at (225) 578-6568.

Subject Specialist
Picture: Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor
Assistant Curator of Books
Tel: 578-6547

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